Music Hall MMF 7.1...cartridge options?

I’m wanting to return to spinning some vinyl after a 20-some year hiatus from an analog source in my system. I’m finding some attractive deals on the Music Hall MMF 7.1 and as a ‘re-entry’ table it fits my budget. I’d like some feed back on a couple of things: (1) general comments the 7.1 and (2) the 7.1 is offered with a cartridge…some ads say the Goldring Eroica H (MC) or the Goldring GL-2400 (MM)…what’s the difference? Or, should I get the table without a cartridge…and then what cartridge would be a good fit? I prefer to buy new…if the vinyl bug really sticks I can sell the newer table and upgrade…or not. Thanks in advance!
Hi, M,

I've been using a mmf-7 with the Pro-Ject 9 aluminum arm for over four years and haven't gotten the upgrade bug yet. (I actually have two mmf-7 'tables.) I did upgrade cartridges though. The Eroica isn't a bad cartridge and if you can get one included for less than $200 it might be worth it. Depends on whether you've got the extra cash to buy a separate cartridge that's equal to or better than the Eroica/2400 and what your phono stage (preamp) can accomodate. I now run low output moving coil cartridges (my preference) but keep the Eroica around as a spare/emergency cartridge.

I agree with Ehaller about the Herbie's mat; it improved overall dynamics and tonal balance and reduced surface noise with my setup. I wasn't quite as impressed with the Speed Box; it may or may not make a big difference. If you have good clean power you may not notice a dramatic improvement, but it is a nice addition.

I also agree with the others about a good phono preamp. It will make a big difference if your current phono stage is on the lower end of the spectrum. And like Tgrisham and Ehaller, I eventually spent about the same price for a phono stage as I paid for the turntable. I started out with a Jolida JD9 and still use it, but the Rogue Stealth is my preferred phono preamp.

The mmf-7.1 with the new carbon arm seems like a good deal compared with other turntables in its price class.

Have fun!
Agree with Ehaller and Tketcham . . . I have virtually the same set up. MMF-7 is a pretty good turntable for the money. The arm is the only weak link. The herbie's mat is a great upgrade. The speedbox is a great upgrade as well - made a positive, audible difference in my system, and it's really convenient if you spin anything at 45 rpm. I am also using a stealth phono preamp, it beat out a jolida JD9A by a good margin in my system as well. I'm running a dynavector 10x5 and pretty happy with the sound. MMF-7.1 is probably a little bit better with the carbon fiber arm tube, but the basic arm mechanics look pretty (or completely) similar so I wouldn't spend the extra money. A used MMF-7 is a good value. Haven't listened to any goldring cartridges so I can't comment.
Thank you for your feedback. I went ahead and ordered a Music Hall 7.1 w/ the Goldring 2400 (better deal than the combo w/the Eroica) and a Herbie's mat..that should be a good starting point. As far as the pre, I'm using a Belles 28A so it has a built-in phono section. A friend of mine used the Belles with his Nottingham table w/ satisfactory results...though I didn't grill him on specifics. I am most curious about the cartridge, as the Dynavector 10X5 has been mentioned here as well as by some folks I spoke with at a very reputable analog store here in Minneapolis. I already have a Gingko Cloud platform, and I see from an Analog Focus article in the March issue of Absolute Sound, the platform, if weighted correctly, seems to be an added plus. Thanks again!
I am skeptical about using a speed box with the 7.1 In my experience using a strobe disc the speed was absolutely perfect with no visible or audible variation. I even asked Music Direct about using the speed box and he said he would be happy to sell me one but that the speed was so constant on the 7.1 that he thought it wasn't worth the money. Instead spend it on buying records!
Hi, M,

I think you'll really enjoy your new turntable and the Goldring 2400. The Pro-Ject arm's biggest flaw I think is the tonearm mounting post design. It's not a very good fit and subject to misalignment (off-vertical) when you adjust height for SRA. As for cartridges, I've been running a Dynavector DV-20XL cartridge for the past year and it sounds great with the mmf-7. It was a lot of money (for me) to spend on a cartridge but it was worth it. It does involve changing out the stock counterweight for a heavyweight (120g) counterweight, available at

I found specs for the Belles 28A and noticed that it has settings for a moving coil cartridge (including variable adjustments in impedance/resistance loading, nice!) but the gain doesn't look right; 26 dB of gain isn't much, unless they figure you'd be using a step-up transformer/headamp with it. I run my 20XL with 50 dB of gain and it seems to perform best with resistance loadings below 100 Ohms. (Based on my experience and numerous threads about this cartridge.) I run mine at 70 Ohms now (started out at 44 Ohms) and it sounds very nice.

I haven't heard the Dynavector 10x5 so can't compare the two, but if you can wait to upgrade cartridges and you can accomodate a LOMC with 0.3 mV of output and 100 or less Ohms resistance, then the extra $300 to get a 20XL might be something to consider. I'd just play the Goldring 2400 for a while and get to know the sound of your system with the new 'table and cartridge. Then you'll have a better idea of what you like and dislike about the 2400 for comparison with other cartridges.

Have fun!

PS: Another LOMC cartridge to consider is the AT33PTG, which I also like a lot, but I'll note a couple cautions: Namely, it's not a U.S.A. warranted product and it has a tiny stylus that is not easy to see for alignment. That aside, it's a great cartridge for the money.